Toyota Reports 2013 Scion FR-S Quality Problems To Dealers

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Toyota has informed their dealers that the new Scion FR-S sports coupe has a couple of quality issues:

  1. Some new FR-S coupes have exhibited moisture build-up in the rear tail light housings, indicating the units aren’t being sealed properly by the supplier and/or being damaged during assembly.
  2. Some new FR-S coupes have body panels that are not fitting flush at the gaps – Toyota reports that some panels are sitting as a quarter of inch over or under flush.

Toyota has issued these quality issue announcements as innocuous sounding “tech tips,” intended to help dealers get ahead of these issues before consumers have a chance to sound the alarm bells.

Scion FR-S body panel problem

Scion FR-S body panel quality problems notification from Toyota

Tech tip S-TT-0043-12 states that some vehicles may have body panels that aren’t flush (either under- or over-flush) which are causing customers to complain. This tech tip doesn’t offer a fix, and merely states that Toyota is “looking into” the issue.

Tech tip S-TT-0042-12 states that there could be moisture built up in the rear combination lamps. Toyota is asking dealers to report any cars they have with this condition, including when the issue was discovered, how bad the problem is/was, and how the issue was addressed. Toyota is also asking dealers if the replacement lamp assembly had the same issue (suggesting a supplier QC problem).

While the moisture issue can be dismissed as relatively minor, body panel fitment issues are disconcerting. This problem should never happen in the manufacturing process.

Scion FR-S Quality Issues - Tech Tips

It seems Scion's new sports car FR-S could have some serious quality issues putting a damper on a sweet new car.

What’s the Long Term Impact?

While these quality issue reports are unlikely to dampen enthusiasm for the Scion FR-S, they do speak to the difficulties of vehicle partnerships. It’s easy to envision these issues are a result of miscommunications between two different design/development teams. Tundra owners looking forward to the Tundra Hybrid (which will be a collaboration between Ford and Toyota) might be wise to wait and buy their hybrid Tundra until after the first model year is produced.

What do you think? Are these issues part of a larger quality control problem? Or just minor issues that affect all car manufactures?

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  7. BayAreaBill says:

    Talked to the service reps at my local Toyota mega dealer, and two different reps told me that they have been having serious “fit and finish” problems with the Scions. Looks like I’ll drive the Civic Si for another year and wait until they iron out the kinks in the 2014 models. Also, I’m hoping they offer better colors next year. Black, gray, red, silver, white, midnight blue, and orange don’t appeal to me.

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